Love Story

We discussed love songs several days ago, but what about love stories? Are you a fan of traditional love stories? Or do you lean towards less conventional fare?

I once told someone that Terminator was one of my favorite love stories, and they laughed. Kind of hurt my feelings. The saga of Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese finding love while saving the universe ignited my imagination, and made me a fan of a series that otherwise might’ve passed me by.

Of course I’ve enjoyed a few more conventional love stories, such as An Affair to Remember,

And Sleepless in Seattle,

but there’s something especially poignant about love that arises in the midst of a seemingly hopeless situation because my other top love story is that of Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa. When Han, on the verge of being encased in carbonite during The Empire Strikes Back, uttered those two little words, “I know,” in response to Leia’s profession of love, I melted.

That kiss was something special.

So maybe I am most fond of love stories wrapped inside a sci-fi movie, and not movies in which love is the main theme. How about you?

Peace and love, people!

Looking for Love

I was an ugly duckling in my school days. I’d love to tell you I blossomed into a beautiful swan, but that would be a lie. I guess I ended up as a plain ol’ hen. Just one more duck in the flock.

But for an ugly duckling in a small town dates were few and far between. There were boys I liked a lot, but no one I felt was “the one.” The big L was evasive, and I had no indication that college would be any better. I was plain and more than a little weird. Not a great combination.

Then my family moved to Dumas, Texas, from Floydada, Texas, just as I began my senior year of high school. The high school was bigger. There was a larger dating pool. I went out with a few young men, but they just didn’t cut it. I might’ve been plain, but I still had standards.

Then, Studly Doright and I met. I’d encountered him on the condiments aisle at the Piggly Wiggly grocery store that my daddy managed and where Studly worked. Later, miracle of miracles, I encountered him outside the physical education locker rooms after second hour. We had P.E. class at the same time; although, boys and girls were segregated into different gyms in those days.

After many days of innocent flirtation, he asked me to attend the homecoming football game, and I accepted. During the first sweet goodnight kiss at the end of our very first date I was caught off guard. I’d tell you that I saw fireworks and that bells rang, but I did not. Instead, I just had this feeling of peace come over me, like I’d found a piece of heaven right then and there.

After the kiss I went inside the house. I closed the front door and leaned against it. Mom was sitting there waiting up for me with a questioning look on her face.

“Mom,” I said. “I think I might be in love.”

She didn’t laugh at me, or tell me I was being silly, or that it was just a first date and too early to know. She just hugged me.

I guess I’d been looking for love, but hadn’t really expected to find it. I sure recognized it when it arrived, though.

Peace and love, people.

All You Need is Love Me Do

Note: I wrote this a week ago, and set it to publish on Feb. 10th. Now, see the side note at the end. Well, read the piece first, THEN read the note. The timing was merely a happy coincidence.

The Beatles. John, Paul, George, Ringo. Oh! How I adored them. They wanted to hold my hand. They loved me, yeah, yeah, yeah. And they gave me all their lovin’. Paul was my second celebrity crush. Elvis was my first, but we aren’t talking about him right now.

The first time I saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, my seven-year-old self was enraptured, while my dad was aghast at their hair. “Freida,” he cried, “Come look at these boys’ hair!”

I watched Mom walk into the living room to investigate what he was fussing over. The Beatles. I’d plopped myself down on the floor in front of our black and white screen tv and instantly fallen head over heels in love. They were all adorable, but Paul was the one. He sang to me. I knew that every word from his mouth was intended for me and me alone.

(That’s not me above, but it could’ve been)

If I’d been a little bit older, I’d likely have had more lustful feelings for Paul, but at seven, I just felt love in its purest form. He was adorably earnest with a mischievous smile. Unobtainable and safe. Every little girl should have such a love.

Was the music a part of it? Certainly. Who could resist Love Me Do?

https://youtu.be/0pGOFX1D_jg

I fall in love all over again when I hear this song.

Side note: On Feb. 9th 1964, the Beatles played their first television appearance on the Ed Sullivan show.

Peace and love, people!

A Little Love

When I was in fourth grade at R.C. Andrews school in Floydada, Texas, I had a teacher who didn’t like me very much. From day one she scowled at me and never let up. She might also have been scowling at the other students in my class, but her disdain felt pretty personal to me.

She was the first teacher who did not praise my early attempts at writing. I cannot recall a single positive word she ever wrote on a paper I turned in, only criticisms in bright red marks across the page.

Too LONG!

Not long enough!

Too silly!

Too serious!

You used the word love to describe your feelings for your dog and your new shoes. We only use that word for people.

Heck, I know I loved my dog, and those shoes were certainly P. F. Flyers that made me run faster and jump higher. Who wouldn’t love shoes that could do all that?

She once criticized me for using a word that she said was too big for me to understand.

Don’t use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.

Of course I later learned that Mark Twain said that, and it makes perfect sense. But in my defense, I did understand the word: voluptuous. I used it in context, too. Perhaps that was the problem.

Floydada was, and remains, a small town. As an adult and a retired teacher I’ve speculated that perhaps this teacher held some grudge against one or both of my parents. Maybe even against my grandparents. And I received the brunt of it.

All I wanted was a little love from her, and if not love, just a little respect.

Take it away, Ms. Aretha Franklin:

https://youtu.be/JzqGZjFnYnA

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Tina Turner sang the song of the summer in 1984, and no matter where one went it seemed that her hit, What’s Love Got to Do With It ruled the airwaves.

Studly Doright and I were coaching a girls’ softball team that summer, and our all-star team had qualified for the regional tournament in Weatherford, Texas. On one of our off days, we took the girls to a water park in Arlington, Texas, where Tina’s hit seemed to be playing non-stop. Our son was tagging along on the trip and we couldn’t get enough of the tune.

The song begs the questions, “what’s love, but a second-hand emotion?” and “who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?” Both are fairly deep topics for a pop song. I can’t address the first question, but in regard to the second one, a heart is absolutely necessary to survival. Perhaps I’m being too literal, though.

https://youtu.be/oGpFcHTxjZs

It’s still a great song, even if we’re not sure of all the answers. Love’s like that, you know.

Peace, and love, people.

Love Lifted Me

I grew up in the small Texas town of Floydada. My parents were Baptists, my maternal grandparents were Baptists, my great grandfather was a Baptist minister. So of course, I was Baptist. Honestly I knew of only two other choices: Methodist and Pentecostal. Like I said, it was a small town.

The Baptist church shaped much of my life, and while it isn’t perfect, being comprised of human beings with all their prejudices, frailties, and hang ups, it taught me many good things: Love one another, do unto others as you would have others do unto you, and God is love, among other things. Too bad it’s become so political these days. I no longer think of myself as Baptist.

But the hymns! Oh my goodness did I love the hymns. Modern day worship music doesn’t come close to matching the hymns of my youth. Among my favorites was the hymn, Love Lifted Me. It’s so uplifting, so happy. It transcends denomination and religion.

https://youtu.be/mEsgA_TgDas

While there were several versions offered in my google search, none of them quite lived up to my memories of the song, but at least Alan Jackson did a reasonably good job of singing it.

Peace, and love, people.

Heard it in a Love Song

What’s the first song that comes to mind when you think about love songs? Do you have a favorite? Do you and your significant other have your own song?

Studly Doright isn’t much of a music person, so any romanticizing of a song for the two of us has always fallen to me. In the early days of our marriage, Afternoon Delight by the Starland Vocal Band was “our” song. It was a playful look at sex, and Studly liked that, but it didn’t really focus on love.

During the 80’s I gravitated towards Stuck With You by Huey Lewis and the News. Still not a terribly romantic song, but it seemed to fit what we were going through as a young couple with two young children. Stuck, but happy.

Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing came along in the 90’s, and I couldn’t stop singing it (badly). That’s how I felt about our relationship. No matter what we’d gone through, and we’d gone through plenty, I still didn’t want to miss the stuff to come.

I could name dozens of other love songs that meant something to me: Maybe I’m Amazed by Paul McCartney, This Kiss by Faith Hill, Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You, I’ll Make Love to You by Boyz 2 Men and on and on. If I had to pick just one song to choose as “ours,” though, it’d likely be this one by Vince Gill.

Look at Us

https://youtu.be/uSfjp1ky4Mw

Yes, it’s sappy, but it fits. Maybe I should tell Studly it’s our song. He’s still fond of Afternoon Delight, though. Some things never change.

Peace, people.

Get Thee Behind Me, Friend

Does your mouth sometimes work independently of your brain? Afterwards do you wish you could crawl into a hole and emerge only after everyone who heard you say what you said was stricken with total forgetfulness of your faux pas, a sort of word specific amnesia?

If you haven’t already deduced that I uttered one of the stupidest phrases ever then you will now.

Yesterday I took a good friend who, along with her husband, had spent the last couple of days with us at Doright Manor, to lunch at my favorite vegan place in Tallahassee. She is not vegan, but was willing to sample what I’d been talking about. Now, this friend is one of the nicest, sweetest, most considerate people in the world. Maybe in the entire universe. I can only aspire to be as kind as she is.

We stood at the counter to order and she proffered her credit card at the same time I did. She and her husband had bought our dinner the night before and there was no way I was allowing her to pay for her own lunch. So I physically blocked her, and to my ever lasting horror said, “Get thee behind me, Satan!”

Satan!? Had I completely lost my mind? My friend, and the clerk at the counter looked shocked, and I just wanted the floor to open up and swallow me.

Now, the only thing I have to offer in my defense is that I’m reading a sci-fi novel about satanic possession in space. Oh, and that one of the regular specials at the vegan place is “Hail Seitan!* Although, it wasn’t on the menu yesterday.

I apologized, even as my friend laughed it off. But holy cow, I’m thinking of having a surgical procedure called a tongue-ectomy. I’m not sure it exists, but it should.

Have you ever done anything remotely as awful? Please tell me you have. I need to believe I’m not the only one. Heck, make something up if you need to.

(*Seitan, made from wheat gluten, mimics the taste and texture of meat.)